Shropshire Council

Postal and proxy voting

You can only vote if your name appears on the register of electors. If you're not sure whether you're registered, or if you need to register, please contact the Elections Team at the Shirehall on 0345 678 9015. Even when an election has been called, you still have time to register up to 12 working days before polling day.

Ways in which to vote

In person at your local polling station

Shortly before the election, we'll send a poll card to all eligible registered householders to confirm the date of the election, the location of their polling station and the hours that it'll be open. While you don't need your poll card to vote, it's a useful reminder to you, and it may help speed the voting process along if you present it to the staff on duty at your allocated polling station when you go and vote.

Simply turn up, collect a ballot paper and vote for your chosen candidate/party, before posting it in the ballot box provided. 

By post

If you have a postal vote in place, we'll send you a postal poll card to tell you when your ballot papers are likely to arrive, and what you should do in the unlikely event that you don't receive them.

Anyone can apply to have their ballot papers sent to them by post, instead of going to vote in person at a polling station.

Due to changes being brought in by the Elections Act 2022, application forms will also require a National Insurance Number. You can apply for a postal vote on the GOV.UK website or download a paper application form.

You can choose to vote by post:

  • For the maximum period (up to three years)
  • For an election held on a particular date
  • For all future elections until a certain specified date

If you complete a paper application form, please return to:

Electoral Services
Abbey Foregate

...and this must be received for processing by the Electoral Registration Officer no later than 11 working days before polling day.

Any application made ‘for a maximum period’ will remain in place for a maximum period of three years, when a new application will be required to be submitted.

If you have a disability preventing you from providing a signature on your postal vote application, the Electoral Registration Officer can waive the requirement for you to provide a signature. On receipt of your online or paper application, where you have provided a suitable reason why you are unable to provide a signature, officers will issue the appropriate waiver declaration to be completed and returned.

I've applied for a postal vote - when should it arrive and what should I do if it doesn't?

We usually aim to send out ballot papers by first class post approximately two weeks before polling day. If your pack doesn't arrive, you can apply for a new one, but only between five working days before polling day and 5pm on the day of poll.

Can I vote in person instead of using my postal vote?

No – you must use the postal ballot paper which has been issued to you to cast your vote. If you want to cancel your postal vote, you can do so in writing up to 11 days before polling day.

Can I return my completed postal vote pack by hand?

You can hand deliver your own postal vote, and the postal votes of up to five other people, at a polling station. Campaigners can only hand in their own postal vote, and postal votes for up to five other people that are either close relatives, or someone they provide regular care for. If hand delivered, you must complete a postal vote return form. See briefing note for further information on postal vote handling and secrecy.

By proxy

Proxies must be properly appointed in advance of an election and there are various types of proxy depending on the type of appointment that the elector wishes to make. You can apply on the GOV.UK website or download the relevant paper application.

One of the benefits of this arrangement is that if the elector suddenly finds that they're able to attend their polling station in person on polling day, they'll still have the opportunity of voting themselves in person, so long as their proxy has not already cast their vote, nor applied to vote on their behalf by post.

What if the proxy can't get to the elector’s polling station?

Proxies can themselves apply to vote by post on behalf of an elector, if for example they live away from the area where the elector is allocated to vote, or if they're postal voters themselves. If they wish to vote by post, they must complete and submit their own postal proxy application form. An application form can be obtained by contacting the Electoral Registration Office.

What are the timescales for proxy appointments?

  • The deadline for completed proxy applications is 5pm, no later than six working days before polling day
  • If the person being appointed as the proxy wants to vote by post, they must first be appointed by the elector, and then submit a postal proxy application themselves by 5pm, no later than 11 working days before polling day
  • If an elector has a medical emergency which occurs after the normal proxy deadline, they may apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on polling day. Support will be required from a medical source before such an application can be granted
  • If an elector is called away on business after the normal proxy deadline, they may apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on polling day. Support will be required from their employer before such an application can be granted
  • If an elector’s photo ID they intended to use becomes unavailable after the normal proxy deadline, they may apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on polling day

Additional information can also be found on the Your Vote Matters website.